Friday, 16 September 2011

The light bulb and its role in the decline and fall of western civilisation


Lionel said...

Ted Poe for President.

droog said...

My IQ took a massive hit watching that. Or maybe I should say I was dimmed.

"like coal, natural gas and crude oil"

Those are the energy sources he mentions. One wonders who donates to his campaign chest. Don't get me wrong, we're not ready to stop using them, but to carefully ignore other sources reveals a bit about the man. Meanwhile, Pennsylvanians are being evacuated near shale gas fracking sites and Deepwater Horizon may still be leaking but it's hard to tell because about 75% of the oil was never removed. These are the externalities of cheapish energy. There is not enough oil or gas to make supply abundant enough that you can improve safety while still lowering cost. As for coal, it has always been abundant but it is very dirty. And the safety of coal mining, well, the news today provide a reminder.

And whose fault is it that the US doesn't manufacture fluorescents, LEDs or luminescent elements? "Let's protect the pride of US manufacturing as exemplified by, er, incandescent bulbs". LEDs have no mercury, why not jump straight to that and leave China holding its CFLs? Oh right, the US doesn't make anything more advance than fire in a glass bulb.

And of course, blaming the cost of fossil fuels on the fact that we don't use more fossil fuels. Don't improve anything, same and worse is the path forward.

I don't know who she meant it but Alice is correct: this recipe is a great way to speed up the decline of a powerful nation. Old and worse, old and worse, until it all breaks down.

droog said...

er, lack of proof-reading up there. In the last paragraph it should read 'what' instead of 'who'. Plus some typos.

Leg-iron said...

LEDs are not good enough for lighting. The compact fluorescents are harsh and toxic.

Will they improve? Why would they? They have no need to improve.

Their competition has been banned.

droog said...

Roughly speaking there are four technologies with varying degrees of maturity which can be used in residential environments. You eliminate the one that's a technological dead-end and suddenly the other three won't be competing with each other? Riiight...